Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Selling Shi(f)t!

On Sunday myself and my lovely friend Anna booked a table at the amazing Tynemouth market to see if we could sell a few of our surplus items to make a little space in our houses.

Tynemouth market takes place in the beautiful old Victorian glass roofed train station, it's a beautiful place to spend a Sunday. I was selling the vintage items I had collected and just not had space to keep them, and Anna was selling her beautiful hand made glass necklace pendants. I would recommend doing a little stall in your local flea market to anyone, it was so much fun! Organising the display and merchandising was the best part!

These are the lovely glass jewellery that Anna was selling. Check out more of her glass art at AT Glass Art

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Felt Retro Game Mobile Cover

I love video games! So I made this mobile cover to keep my phone toasty and to make me think I've gone back in time to 1998 every time I get my phone out.

Here's how I made it, it's pretty quick to do.

What you need:
Square Felt pieces (black for area behind screen and button details, grey for screen, any colour of your choice for overall console)
Thread (black, grey and matching colour to your console)
Sewing needle

How to do it:

Firstly, I placed the phone on the felt square and drew around it with chalk. It's best to place the phone as a template near an outer edge of the felt square aligned to the bottom edge, this means you can fold the felt over and this eliminates one side edge that you will need to sew. Remember to give about 2cm seam allowance from the very edges of the felt to the phone template you have drawn.

Flip the felt over so that the chalk template is on the outside. Fold the felt over to match the position of drawn template so you have created both sides to the cover. Pin the felt together and trim any excess on one of the sides and the top(there will most likely be excess).

Sew along the bottom and the pinned side of the felt using matching thread to your felt. Running stitch will be fine for this. Leave the top edge open (I know that's pretty obvious but I just thought I'd say it anyway!)
Once the edges are sewn, turn the cover inside out. This will be the complete cover body.
Now for the detail. My design is very simplistic, though I can't give precise measurements as every phone shape is different. The basic template is this:

Black felt - Black square for behind the screen. This will really be slightly more rectangular than square. Use your cover body as a guide, the black square should stretch across most of the width of the cover, and should cover just less than half the length. The edges should be slightly rounded.

Grey felt - Grey square for the screen. Slightly smaller, slightly rectangular, with straight edges. To be placed on top of the black rounded square/rectangle in the center and sewn on using grey thread. It is best to sew the grey screen onto the black rectangle before you sew the black rectangle to the cover for ease of placement.

Black felt - Two small circles for "A" and "B" buttons. When sewn to the cover use black thread and place at a slight diagonal from each other.

Black felt - Also use black felt to make the cross shaped button. I made two thin rectangles, laid and sewed them one on top of the other to make the cross. Sew this to the left of the "A" and "B" buttons on the cover using black thread.
Et voila!

Here's a lovely young man playing a related tune so you can have some musical accompaniment to this project. I couldn't stop whistling this tune all the while I was making this!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

'Stache Cookies

Follically challenged in the facial region? Here is a temporary solution (about as temporary as you can hold off eating it!) Just cut your biscuit mix into comedy moustache shapes before baking. Here's a picture of my Super Mario inspired tashe, and below that my Poirot inspired tashe!

My biscuit mix was for ginger biscuits. It's super easy, here's how I made it.

I used:
12 oz Self Raising Flour
8 oz Sugar
4 oz Margarine
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1 1/2 tbsp Golden Syrup
1 egg


Melt Margarine and Golden Syrup in a large bowl. You can do this using a bain marie method on the hob or you can do it in the microwave, but be sure to use a medium setting so as not to burn the syrup.

Mix everything else into the bowl.

Roll out mixture onto a surface that is dusted with a little flour. Cut into desired shapes and place shapes onto a lightly greased baking tray, or a tray with a sheet of baking parchment to avoid the biscuits sticking to the tray.

Pop them in your oven, gas mark 3 / 175 degrees for about 15 minutes until golden!

Tashe Tastic!

Friday, 6 April 2012

Broken Egg Swirly Easter Chocolate

Sometimes, shop bought eggs are just a bit boring, but everyone wants some chockie at Easter after all that Lent doing without malarkey. So here is a super easy home made chocolate gift idea. It's more like upcycling the chocolate if there can be such a thing because you don't make the chocolate from scratch...and if the recipient of the choc is like "hey where's my egg?" you can always say that this was a chocolate egg but the little chocolate chicken inside hatched and flew away to pastures new - that's why the egg is broken.

So, buy three 300g bars of chocolate, one bar white, one dark and one milk choc.

Make 3 separate bain maries using your hob, by filling 3 pans with water, put them on the heat with a heat safe bowl on top of the pan. Choose bowls that aren't too large as large bowls make it harder to pour out the chocolate later.

Break each chocolate bar up (keeping each chocolate type separate for now) and put them in the bowls on top of the pan. The steam from the water should melt the chocolate.

Find a nice baking tray that has a bit of depth to it, cover with grease proof paper.

once the chocolate has melted, pour it out, one type at a time, into the baking tray to form a slab. I went with dark chocolate first, then poured the white chocolate in thick stripes over the top, then the milk chocolate in stripes over the top of that. You can then use a skewer to swirl the chocolate in together to get a marbled veiny effect.

We put currents and chopped dried apricots on top of our chocolate, you could also put nuts (though check if the recipient has any major allergies like me!), any other dried fruit or berries, or even orange rind with the currents to make it like homage to a hot cross bun. (We also soaked our apricots in amaretto and our currents in brandy over night for more adult chocolate!)

Leave the chocolate slab to harden overnight.

Once the chocolate has set, you can break it up into pieces. We broke ours up by hand so it was more rustic, but if you're a stickler for neatness use a knife (and ruler?!)

Depending on what chocolate you use will change the texture and how brittle or fudgey the final product is. The white chocolate I used was my fave brand that has a blonde kid with glasses that rides a horse and goes into saloon bars full of other kids, and that chocolate was far creamier than the dark and milk choc brands that I used, this meant the final chocolate that was swirled together was naturally pretty soft and fudgey.

Get a nice plastic Easter basket! I saw some in the pound shop, or you can make one out of woven paper. There's a cute paper basket tutorial on Craftzine's blog, but be sure to put some grease proof paper lining the basket if you want to present it in a basket like this. You don't want your nice paper basket to get chocolatey melty marks all over the inside!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Yarn Bombed!

Last week work took me to Saltburn-by-the-Sea where a section of a TV show was being shot, and delightfully the pier had been Yarn Bombed! All along one side of the pier railings were knitted treasures in an Olympic theme with loads of sporting events illustrated in wool! So many people were coming from all over the North East to see it, it's amazing how (technically) an act of "vandalism" can unify a community. It's an amazing work of art, and whichever persons were responsible, you are brilliant and beautiful people.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Evolutionary My Dear Darwin

Now I have given this card to my boyfriend for our 4 year going out 'versary I can upload a picture! I've been reading a book with a lot of evolutionary theory in it and so I thought I'd run with the theme at the risk of being proper weird. But the card was well received! Hooray!

I got the Darwin talking idea from another card online that can be bought here, but I wanted to do my own illustration and design. So here it is!

I bloody love staining shi(f)t with coffee. All treasure mappy!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Fun with Paper: Secret Hollow Books

I made this secret book as an inexpensive alternative for a gift box for my friend's birthday. I also made her a brooch, so this was a good way to present it and also to give a little something extra.

How to make:

Things you'll need: PVA glue mixed with a bit of water (to about a ratio of 70% glue to 30% water) in a plastic pot or container, paintbrush, pencil, ruler, and a craft knife.

Step 1: First off, find a book from a charity shop, on Freecycle, or rummage around in your loft or garage for unwanted literature. Choose a hard back for a sturdy base. I chose a book that also had some illustrations, this can work quite nicely.

Step 2: Select how many pages from the front of the book you want to keep in tact. Select the page you want to be the first one cut in the secret hollow stack and save that page for later. I chose to save a page with an illustration to make it pretty.

Step 3: Hold firm the pages that will be cut (apart from the page saved in step 2) and coat the outside edges of the stack with the glue mix using the paintbrush. Coat with enough glue so that it really soaks into the edges of the page. TIP - When I was first making this book I thought it was best to coat each page individually to make sure it was bloody well stuck, but this wastes time and make the pages warp slightly with too much glue. The pages stick solid enough by just doing the outside edges.

Step 4: Allow the glue to dry. Put pressure on the pages by popping something heavy on top so the pages bind flat. Make sure you use a spacer so that what you're using as a weight, or the other pages, do not get stuck too! (a few pencils laid flat on top will do)

Step 5: Once the glue is dry it's time to mark out the border you want to cut out. Use a ruler and mark with a pencil. I used a 2.5 cm border, but you can chose any width or fancy shaped border.

Step 6: Using a craft knife, cut around your drawn border. BE CAREFUL OF SHARP THINGS!!!! This might take a while and you'll have to remove a small stack of cut out paper at a time. To get straight smooth edges you might have to take a little time to get rid of some little clumps of paper that just don't want to come out! Cut down to what ever depth you like. You can go right to the end and get to the back hard cover, I decided to stop at an illustration page.

Step 7: Coat the inside edges of the hollowed out area with the glue mix, again making sure the glue soaks into the page edges and again put pressure onto the stack while it's drying. (Don't forget to use your spacers again to avoid unwanted stickiness!)

Step 8: Now is time for the final page! Paint glue onto the borders of your cut out stack and stick the page you have set aside to be the first of the cut pages down. TIP - Don't put glue down on the border edge nearest the spine as this doesn't allow the paper to stretch slightly when the book is opening and closing and so can make the page crease up.

Step 9: Once the glue is dry, cut down through the first page to complete the hollowed out area.

And that's it! Start hiding your special secret things!

Friday, 10 February 2012

Love in Pixel Form

This is an amazing idea from Kate Petty for a slightly more man-friendly valentine's card or if you need to give a card to the graphics geek in your life. The tutorial is outlined on Kate's awesome website called minieco.co.uk

Follow this link for the full tutorial. www.minieco.co.uk/valentines-day-pixely-popup-card/


I wish I could try this one out for myself but I've misplaced my craft knife! (crying)

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Cute Vintage Valentine's Cards

OOOOH look what I just found on About.com! A lovely lovely lady called Barbara Crews has posted her collection of 46 vintage valentines cards dating from about 1900 to 1950 so anyone can have a look and download the images to use them in their own valentine's card or gift design! Here are a few of my favourites below, others can be viewed here: Lush Vintage Cards!

Monday, 6 February 2012

Hearts Hearts Hearts!

I made some cute felt hanging hearts with instruction from Kirstie Allsopp's "Craft" book that I got for christmas off my boyfriend. I made these as something to either hang on a door handle or to hang a line of them in a line on the wall. Here's a picture of how mine turned out...

They took me about an hour each to make (but that was me half distracted by the telly!) If you wanted them done in a hurry I reckon you can pretty comfortably whip out one in 30 minutes.

Here's a tutorial for something very similar and also lovely and amazing on the channel 4 website. Its a String of Hearts Garland!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Valentine's Heart Brooch

Valentine's Day is fast approaching! So from now till good old V Day I'm going to post all lovey dovey related makes! This is a heart brooch I made for my friend Pheebs.

How To Make:

What you will need - Felt (I've used traditional red but any colour is super, choose a main colour and a contrasting colour),
Thread of contrasting and matching colours,
Pretty button,
Two types of pretty ribbon,
Brooch pin (available from haberdasheries),

Step 1: Cut out a heart shape from your chosen coloured felt. The best way to get this symmetrical is to fold the felt over and pin it together. Using the fold as the centre line draw half the heart with chalk. Cut this out making sure you cut through both layers of felt and you will have a perfect shaped heart.

Step 2: Using thread of a contrasting colour, sew detail on to the heart shape. I used running stitch tracing the outline of the heart shape in a pattern of interchanging colours.

Step 3: Cut a length from each of your chosen ribbon. Make one ribbon slightly shorter than the other. To stop fraying cut the tips of the ribbon at an angle. I folded the end of the ribbon and then cut diagonally to get an inverted "V".

Step 4: Sew the layered and looped ribbons to the back of the heart. Take care to only sew through the very centre of the heart shape, as later these stitches will be obscured by the button.

Step 5: Cut a small circle out of your contrasting colour felt. Sew this through the middle of the heart, this will be a little seat for the button.

Step 6: Using a contrasting thread, sew the button onto the small circle of felt through the heart.

Step 7: Sew the brooch pin on the back of the heart shape, again being as accurately close to sewing through the centre of the heart as possible, hiding the exit stitches under the button. This might be faffy and you may need to sew by putting the needle through at an angle. It is best to use the same colour thread as your felt for this bit just in case any thread is visible from the front.

And there you go! A nice prezzy to show your friend or mama you love them. It looks really sweet on a bag or coat!